Re: [mythsoc] Re: Hobbits in Hollywood
- Certainly, JRRT draws on, at least, some of these in TLoR, but suggesting
that he actually makes reference to their work which he intended the reader
to understand as references (I believe) severely undermines the idea of
Tolkien's work as subcreation, an intent which is, I believe, made explicit
through much of his work and letters. Ruskin, Pindar, etc. do not exist in
As the clock struck 09:45 PM 4/23/2001 -0500, Trudy Shaw took pen in hand
> David J. Finnamore
> Nashville, TN, USA
> Maybe the writer of this review had read the one I ran into online
> yesterday, in which the reviewer says exactly that--except in what, I
> guess, is supposed to be a positive way. It was posted on Epinions, but
> rather than give the arm's-length URL for the specific page, I'll suggest
> finding it the way I did--through http://sharpwriter.com/aaa.content/
> (Sharpwriter's monthly newsletter) then clicking on "Power and Grace
> Abiding: The Lord of the Rings."
> According to this review, in order to "fully appreciate" LotR, a reader
> must be familiar with Ruskin, Goerthe, Thomas More, Pindar, Schiller, Aby
> Warburg, Winckelmann, Tacitus, Spenser, Aristotle, Vergil, Homer, Milton,
> Thomas Acquinas, Theocritus, Columella, Dunbar, Chaucer, Hooker, Gibbon,
> Fenelon, Coleridge, Newman, Heine, and Burke, (I hope I didn't miss
> anyone!) along with Beowulf, the Heimskringla, the Kalevala, the
> Finnsburgh Fight, the Orkney Saga, the Eddas, and Nordic, Celtic, and
> pre-Arthurian mythology.
> The implication I got from the reviewer was that Tolkien consciously
> included references to all of these various works and philosophers, but
> that _may_ be overstating it. He does give a few quotes to show
> similarities. He's very heavy on philosophy, which has never seemed to me
> to be one of Tolkien's main passions.
> Anyway, the writer is kind enough to say that "Certainly there is a
> broad sense in which LOTR maybe [sic] and has been enjoyed relatively
> thoughtlessly by all sorts and conditions of readers [meaning, as I
> understand it, anyone who isn't familiar with everyone/thing listed
> above]... Surely thousands have wallowed in the work's surpassing
> richness with but the vaguest understanding of its truths."
> The entire review took seven pages to print out. (Of course I printed
> it out--do you think I could _remember_ all those names?) By the end of
> it, I was wondering if it was supposed to be satiric.
> Ah, well, guess I'll get back to wallowing in the work's surpassing
> richness with the rest of the mouthbreathers (the name he gives those who
> don't, upon reading Gandalf's musings on the temptation to use the
> Palantir, "...hear the clear echo of Pindar's famous cry regarding the
> lost temple of Delphi, 'O Muses, with what patterns did the able hands of
> Hephaestus and Athena decorate the temple?'.")
> This review, by the way, was supposed to make people want to buy LotR.
> I don't think it would have had that effect on me.
> Droolingly yours,
> Trudy Shaw
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James P. Robinson III jprobins@...
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